About the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships

The Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships is a dedicated team of research professionals focused on advancing research across WSU by supporting faculty proposal development, engaging in strategic planning for research initiatives, and developing collaborations with community, industry and research partners.

Meet the Team

Headshot of Kim Christen

Kim Christen, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President and Associate Vice Chancellor Pullman for Research Advancement and Partnerships

Dr. Kim Christen is the Associate Vice President for Research Advancement and Partnerships. Dr. Christen is the founder of Mukurtu CMS an open-source software platform designed with Indigenous communities globally to meet their unique information, curatorial, and data needs. She is a co-Director of Local Contexts, a global initiative to provide digital tools and legal frameworks for stewarding digital cultural heritage and the management of intellectual property by Indigenous communities. Her research and scholarship explore the intersections data management, software systems, and information ethics specifically addressing issues of access, use and reuse of cultural heritage and traditional knowledge in global network. Her work has been published widely in international journals. Dr. Christen collaborates broadly emphasizing community-engaged research including working closely with Native American nations across Washington state and nationally as well as with Indigenous communities globally to build digital tools and networks as catalysts for social change.

Headshot of Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello.

Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello, Ph.D.

Research Development Specialist
(509) 335-1848

Dr. Cheryl Dykstra-Aiello joined the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships (ORAP) in October 2023 as the Research Development Specialist. She supports the overall management, operation, and leadership of ORAP in various ways, including proposal consultation and development, facilitation of educational and training opportunities to enhance WSU researchers’ proposal writing success, and researching appropriate funding sponsors and collaborative partnerships for WSU’s faculty. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Eastern Washington University and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology from the University of California, Davis.

Headshot of Emily Brashear.

Emily Brashear

Faculty Research Development Specialist
(509) 335-7266

Emily Brashear joined the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships in January of 2016 and is the Faculty Research Development Specialist. She is the point of contact for all funding training and requests, which include the limited submission process. She also manages the New Faculty Seed Grant program, Natural Resources Conservation Fund, and other internal award programs. Among other events, Emily helps facilitate Information Sessions and Research Week. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Headshot of William Damitio.

William Damitio

Research and Administrative Support Specialist
(509) 335-0510

Will Damitio joined the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships in February 2023 and is a Research and Administrative Support Specialist. He supports ORAP in a number of ways, including data analysis, communications, and event support. He received a B.A. from Western Washington University in Anthropology and Linguistics and a master’s degree in Anthropology from WSU.

Contact Us

Are you looking for funding? Not sure how to apply for a grant? Do you need someone to review and provide feedback on your grant proposal? Contact us!

Our department email address is or.orap.servicedesk@wsu.edu.